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Lawsuits allege J&J knew asbestos contaminated its products

Kentucky consumers might have been exposed to asbestos when using talc products like baby powder sold by Johnson & Johnson. Multiple lawsuits have accused the consumer care products company of knowingly selling talc products contaminated with asbestos. Over a dozen new trials have been scheduled in 2019 against the company that has already been targeted by 11,700 lawsuits involving unsafe products.

The plaintiff in a trial that recently began opening arguments suffers from mesothelioma, a type of cancer associated with asbestos exposure. Internal documents from Johnson & Johnson have come to light that indicate the company knew about asbestos appearing in tests of raw and finished talc powders from the 1970s through the 2000s. This trial also names a mining company, Imerys Talc America, as a co-defendant. A lawyer for Imerys insisted that the evidence would prove that the talc was free of asbestos and did not result in the plaintiff's disease.

The legal team representing the person with mesothelioma has succeeded previously against Johnson & Johnson. A jury verdict in April 2018 awarded a victim $117 million. Johnson & Johnson has pledged to appeal that decision and fight all cases claiming asbestos contamination.

Victims of toxic exposures often face denials of responsibility when seeking damages for cancer or other fatal diseases. The representation of a lawyer knowledgeable about collecting evidence related to asbestos in the home or on the job might pressure a company into paying for medical care and other damages.

Source: Reuters, "Latest trial in J&J talc litigations gets under way in California", Tina Bellon, Jan. 7, 2019

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